<b>Updated</b> CPU Cheatsheet - Seven Years of Covert CPU Operationsby Jarred Walton on August 28, 2004 9:00 AM EST
- Posted in
Update: 8/27/04 - The charts have all been revised. Thanks go out to all the people that posted corrections in the comments section as well as sending them via email. In addition to the corrections, some further information and commentary has been added to the pages. For anyone that actually comes back to this article for reference information, enjoy the changes!
Foreword by Kristopher Kubicki:
From time to time we stumble upon some truly gifted and patient people here at AnandTech. Some weeks ago I wrote a CPU codename cheatsheet as just something to do in an airport terminal to kill time. Very soon after, an extremely diligent Jarred Walton showed me his rendition of the CPU family tree that he was keeping just for fun!? Knowing I was bested, I offered Jarred a chance at writing a pilot for AT, and here it is! Please enjoy the second, extremely thorough CPU Cheatsheet 2.0.
But loud! what lurks in yonder chassis, hot?
A CPU, my programs it will run!
O Pentium, Pentium! wherefore art thou Pentium?
Obscure thy benchmarks and refuse thy name.
What's in a name? that which we call a chip
By any other name would run as fast.
My sincere apologies to Shakespeare, but that mangled version of Romeo and Juliet is an apt description of the world of computer processors. Once upon a time, we dealt with part numbers and megahertz. Larger numbers meant you had a faster computer. 80286 was faster than 8088 and 8086, and the 80386 was faster still, with the 80486 being the king of performance. Life was simple, and life was good. But that is the distant past; welcome to the present.
Where once we had a relatively small number of processor parts to choose from, we are now inundated with product names, model numbers, code names, and features. Keeping track of what each one means is becoming a rather daunting task. Sure, you can always try Googling the information, but sometimes you'll get conflicting information, or unrelated web sites, or only small tidbits of what you're trying to find out. So, why not put together a clear, concise document that contains all of the relevant information? Easier said than done; however, that is exactly what is attempted in this article.
In order to keep things even remotely concise, the cutoff line has been arbitrarily set to the Pentium II and later Intel processors, and the Athlon and later AMD processors. Anything before that might be interesting for those looking at the history of processors, but for all practical purposes, CPUs that old are no longer worth using. Also absent will be figures for power draw and heat dissipation, mainly because I'm not overly concerned with those values, not to mention that AMD and Intel have very different ways of reporting this information. Besides, Intel and AMD design and test their CPUs with a variety of heatsinks, motherboards, and other components to ensure that everything runs properly, so if you use the proper components, you should be fine.
So what will be included? For this first installment, details on clock frequencies, bus speeds, cache sizes, transistor counts, code names, and a few other items has been compiled. The use of model numbers with processors is also something people will likely have trouble keeping straight, so the details of processors for all Athlon XP and later AMD chips and Pentium 4 and later Intel chips will follow. The code names and features will be presented first, with individual processor specifics listed on the later pages. As a whole, it should be a useful quick reference - or cheat sheet, if you prefer - for anyone trying to find details on a modern x86 processor.
With that said, on to the AMD processors. Why AMD first? Because someone has to be first, and AMD comes before Intel in the alphabet.